Education A National Roundup

Obituary: Gordon Shaw

By Ann Bradley — May 10, 2005 1 min read

Gordon Shaw, a physicist whose research on how music affects the brain touched off a wave of interest in exposing children to classical music, died April 26. He was 72 and had kidney cancer.

Physicist Gordon Shaw researched the effect of music on the brain.

Mr. Shaw earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1959 and joined the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, in 1965. In 1974, he began working on brain theory, his primary area of research for the next 20 years.

In 1993, Mr. Shaw gained national attention when he reported results from a study that found college students who listened to a Mozart sonata saw substantial, though temporary, increases in their IQs.

Mr. Shaw was the author of the 2000 book Keeping Mozart in Mind and the co-founder of the nonprofit MIND Institute in Costa Mesa, Calif., whose Math+Music program is used in 67 elementary schools.